Reflections on Place Branding is a critical exploration into place branding, documented as a small print publication. Collating insights from industry interviews, secondary research into design critiques and academic articles, alongside my own branding experiments, the publication examines what best practice for place branding might be, while also considering opportunities to evolve the practice in more ethical and sustainable ways.
Publication Design / Design Research / 2021
Place, as both a physical and social construct, affects every aspect of our lives. Emerging from our longest lockdown, we’ve realised how much place affects our wellbeing and how quickly it can be used to define and divide us. As such, work on place will always be important, and matters now more than ever as we face the challenges of the global climate crisis and navigate a post-Covid world. Within an Australian context, place remains even more important as we work to recognise and respect this country’s traditional owners, acknowledging that sovereignty has never been ceded.
Within these contexts, the practice of place branding has recently grown considerably within Australia, meaning that visual communicators are playing a larger role in shaping the outward identity of a variety of places. Whilst this promises growth and new opportunities, as critical designers, we must ensure that we continue to evolve and adapt our practices responsibly.
As an emerging designer interested in this area of work, I, therefore, took the opportunity to examine the practice over my honours years, setting up a critical framework for myself when working in the area in the future. The resulting publication, therefore, documents this critical exploration, examining opportunities through which we can work with place more responsibly.
This design research project was produced in the Visual Communication Honours degree undertaken at the University of Technology Sydney in 2021. A special thank you to my supervisor Zoë Sadokierski and my honours cohort, specifically Emma Van De Werken, Julia Favaloro, Crystal Yiamkiati, Clarice Tan and Doris Tan for their guidance and support.